(June 11) Twenty-eight years after President Ronald Reagan declared Soviet communism the “focus of evil in the modern world,” communist China has taken its place.

A new report by Amnesty International tells the tale.

The human rights group interviewed 108 people with direct knowledge of the internment camps where China is holding Muslim minorities, all of whom “recounted cruel and degrading treatment, including torture,” according to NBC. “More than 1 million Uighurs and other minorities from Xinjiang are believed to be held in internment camps, where they are forced to study Marxism, renounce their religion, work in factories and face abuse, according to human rights groups and first-hand accounts.”

Of the 108 interviewees, 55 were former detainees. All 55 said they were treated extremely cruelly or tortured. The other 53 interviewees who worked at the camps confirmed the torture. The abuses included electric sleep deprivation, shocks, beatings, being hung from a wall, and manacling to a chair for hours or even days at a time in painful positions.

Chinese guardian lion, Forbidden City, Beijing, China

One detainee described the treatment of another who was chained on a chair for three days: “Two [cuffs] were locked around his wrists and legs. … A rubber thing attached to the ribs to make the person [sit] up straight. … He would [urinate and defecate] in the chair. … We told the guards. They said to clean him. His bottom was wounded. His eyes look unconscious.”

Then, to try to hide their tracks, Chinese officials spent six full days feeding a “bonfire” of documents regarding activities at the camps. But there’s no hiding it: Two years ago, a cache of other documents unearthed by a consortium of international journalists told much the same story. The Amnesty International report adds to the record with all of its eyewitness accounts to the picture painted by those earlier papers…. [The full column is at this link.]


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